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August 30, 2006
Lemmings - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
19/10/2006SonyTeam 171$79.95

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Climbing up the wall...
Who here remembers Lemmings? If you've been a gamer for more then a decade it's quite likely that you've not only heard of it, but played the game. Indeed, since the first title was released in 1990 over 5 million copies of the original and its many sequels have been sold. It is one of the classic puzzle games, right up there with Tetris and Worms. Recently Sony released a version for the PSP - a game which we quite enjoyed (the review of which you can read here). The idea is simple. Lemmings are cute, but very stupid. They have a follow the leader mentality, even if that means falling off a cliff or walking into a trap to their death.

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The graphics look quite nice.
What many of you may not realise is that Lemmings was originally developed by DMA Design who are now Rockstar North - creators of a certain series known as Grand Theft Auto - and published by Psygnosis, which is now a part of Sony Europe. Controlling an army of lemmings, the aim is to get as many of these cute characters as you can from the entrance point to the exit point of a level within a time limit. Easy to learn, difficult to master; Lemmings is a test of strategy and fast thinking as you make ‘on the spot’, life or death decisions for your band of trusting little creatures. Use the unique skills of your lemmings team to overcome the hazards ahead: The ‘Bomber’ explodes at will, the ‘Floater’ can survive high falls and the ‘Basher’ digs horizontally just when you need it. The ‘Climber’ is at hand for those tricky mountain ranges, the ‘Blocker’ creates an obstacle in the path ahead and the ‘Builder’ is there to construct walkways for his friends.

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Falling to their deaths.
Lemmings on the PS2 includes over 100 levels. These have been arranged into five striking themes, each with its own unique visual flavour. So, whether it’s going underground into the sewers or marching through fields and forests, the lemmings always have new terrain to explore.

One of the coolest additions to this game is support for the Eye Toy in exclusive levels. Through these levels players will be able to interact with the Lemmings and can carry, bat, catch or block them. It will also be possible to contort your body to create bridges for them to cross and so on. It will also be possible to pick up and throw the lemmings across large gaps, and if thrown hard enough, crash through breakable surfaces to create new paths and routes.

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New 3D looking graphics.
Lemmings also includes an all-new level editor which allows gamers to create new levels, play them and then save them to the memory card. It's then possible to upload them to an exclusive Lemmings online community so people can play them on their own PS2 or PSP systems. My only hope for this game is that Sony allow gamers to use a USB mouse to control the game. They did a good job with the controls on the PSP version, but nothing compares with the accuracy of a mouse.

Graphically this title looks quite similar to the recently released PSP title. The character are still 2D, as is the gameplay, but the levels have been overhauled with many more now having a 3D look to them.

With a release set for late October Lemmings looks like the perfect game for fans of the series, and even those that enjoy puzzle games, but have never played this series. The Eye Toy component could be a tremendous addition to a (hopefully) great game. Time will tell...